Launch of ‘Ricardo100 Global Challenge’ – an around-the-world charity rally

Launch of ‘Ricardo100 Global Challenge’ – an around-the-world charity rally
13 May 2015

 The Ricardo100 Global Challenge commenced today at the Ricardo Shoreham Technical Centre

  • Two-month rally will see vehicles drawn from Ricardo’s first century of innovation driven by teams of employees in relay
  • Tour to visit key Ricardo and customer locations across the UK, continental Europe, Asia and North America
  • Event will support a range of local, national and international charitable causes chosen by each team
  • Live webcast will show progress of the Ricardo100 vehicles as they drive around the world

Ben Hassett (L) and Richard Cottrell (R) - first drivers on the Ricardo100 Global ChallengeIn one of the highlights of the Ricardo centenary year celebrations, teams of Ricardo staff from around the world will take part in the Ricardo100 Global Challenge charity relay. The event started this morning from the Ricardo Shoreham Technical Centre in Sussex, UK, the company’s global headquarters and the site of its original purpose-built technical centre which opened in 1919, just four years after the company’s formation. Each Ricardo100 Global Challenge team will drive a vehicle of particular significance to Ricardo’s first century, ranging from electric and hybrid cars, a natural gas powered truck, performance motorcycles and a McLaren 12C sports car, to a Le Zebre sedan designed by Ricardo in 1923. 

The relay will take-in many of Ricardo plc’s global network of offices and technical centres as well as places of significance to the company. These include, for example, the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah where in 1936 the Flying Spray took the world diesel land speed record, powered by a Ricardo single sleeve-valve compression-ignition development of the Rolls-Royce Kestrel aero engine – and where, 70 years later in 2006, with a speed of 350.092 miles per hour, the JCB Dieselmax took the same record – fitted with two JCB off-highway engines designed in collaboration with Ricardo and upgraded by the company for the purpose.

The Ricardo100 Batton is handed to the team by Mark GarrettThe Ricardo100 Global Challenge was formally started this morning by Ricardo plc Chief Operating Officer Mark Garrett, who handed the ceremonial Ricardo100 baton to engineers Richard Cottrell and Ben Hassett, the driver and co-driver of the first leg from Shoreham to the Ricardo Aachen Technical Centre in northwest Germany. “I am extremely proud to be able to launch the Ricardo100 Global Challenge,” commented Mark Garrett. “This event is a fantastic celebration of a century of achievement for the Ricardo company. It is also a reflection of the innovative engineering skills, hard work and dedication of its employees, and of their generous commitment to give something back to the communities in which they work through the charities for which they are raising money. I wish all of the teams the very best for the two months of the Ricardo100 Global Challenge and look forward to welcoming the final team as they return to Shoreham two months from now.”

Ricardo COO Mark Garrett is the first to sign the Ricardo100 flagFundraising for local, national and international causes
Charitable support is an important aspect of the Ricardo100 Global Challenge, with each participating team raising money for regional, national and international good causes.  The charities chosen reflect the deeply international nature of the Ricardo100 Global Challenge – and of the company itself – including, for example: UNICEF, Aktion Familie, Engineers without Borders, Cancer Research UK, Teach for India, and many more notable worthy causes drawn from each country through which the relay route will pass. 

A full list of the charities supported can be found on the Ricardo100 web site, including links and information on how to donate:  

Following the challenge online
Thanks to the very generous support of Ricardo business partners Telefonica, Over-C, Concirrus and Jasper, it will be possible to see progress of the Ricardo100 Global Challenge in real-time at

Gavin Franks, General Manager of Telefonica UK's Enterprise Business said: "Ricardo's contribution to innovation and the furthering of motoring technology over the past 100 years is second to none, and we are delighted to support the Ricardo100 Global rally. The technology we are providing will enable people to see progress of the Ricardo100 vehicles in real-time, and we hope this will help the team raise even more money for their charitable causes."

Andrew Yeoman, CEO of Concirrus said: “Ricardo is surely one of the jewels of British engineering and it is gratifying to see them lead on the World stage with a hundred years of engineering excellence behind them. We’re very proud to support them as they celebrate this most remarkable achievement and long may it continue."

Michael Elliott, CEO of Over-C, said: “Ricardo is a proven and highly successful role model to young businesses like Over-C striving to innovate change with technology. We are honoured to be supporting Telefonica and Jasper in driving the Ricardo global celebrations of 100 years of engineering excellence."

Cindy Patterson, Chief Customer Officer at Jasper, added: “We are looking forward to supporting Ricardo's 100-year celebration as a manufacturer of high performance products, and joining fellow partners Telefonica, Concirrus and Over-C to make it possible for automotive enthusiasts around the world to experience the global Ricardo100 Challenge.”

The Ricardo100 Global Challenge commences
For further information as the Ricardo100 Global Challenge progresses, follow @Ricardo100Years and the hashtag #Ricardo100 on Twitter, or see the real-time tracking updates at


A full copy of this press release and accompanying high res images are available from the links at the top right of this page.